Definition for BAS'I-LISK

BAS'I-LISK, n. [s as z. Gr. βασιλικος; L. basiliscus, from βασιλευς, king; so named from some prominences on the head, resembling a crown. – Morin's Dict.]

  1. A fabulous serpent, called a cockatrice, and said to be produced from a cock's egg brooded by a serpent. The ancients alledged that its hissing would drive away all other serpents, and that its breath and even its look was fatal. Some writers suppose that a real serpent exists under this name.
  2. In military affairs, a large piece of ordnance, so called from its supposed resemblance to the serpent of that name, or from its size. This cannon carried a ball of 200 pounds weight, but is not now used. Modern writers give this name to cannon of a smaller size, which the Dutch make 15 feet long, and the French 10, carrying a 48 pound ball. – Encyc.

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